Druids are avatars of nature itself. They can weaponize plants and animals, wrest control over the weather, and even transform into ferocious beasts.
Druids in Arthos
"Some time ago a girl from the nearby hamlet — couldn't be more than 14 — came banging on my door begging I provide a remedy for her ill grandmother. I couldn't refuse the girl, sobbing and grief stricken as she was, so I invited her inside and made a simple clericsroot tincture. It was almost ready when, out of the blue, she inquired as to why everyone in her village feared me. I could only shrug. Years later I believe I have found a satisfactory answer. People of domestic upbringing tend to think of growth as a linear progression, small to big. To me it's the discovery of oneself and the allowance of change. They see my lone cottage and assume it to be some ancient evil, obstinate in its refusal to expand outward. Meanwhile they ignore the beauty of its surroundings; the ever-shifting magnificence of nature's embrace. The so-called adults of that village were no more wise than the girl, perhaps even less so."
- —Girna Jasperheart, circle of the land
A Spontaneous Gift
Nobody ever chooses to become a druid. They are simply born with it. Unlike sorcerers, druids cannot pass their powers on to their children. Druidism reproduces itself through the ever-present magics of The Source powering Arthos' vital heartbeat. About 1 in 6000 living creatures born in Arthos receive the gift of druidism. Even wild animals may receive the gift, although their use of it is limited to the point of irrelevance as they lack cognizance of magic. Since druidism is irreversibly tied to one's soul, only undeath can strip a body of its druidic capabilities.
By nature, druids are largely solitary. Their gift drives them to isolate themselves from society in order to live closer to an environment that brings them peace. Through introspection they grow to discover their druidic circle, or the aspect of Arthos with which they are most closely attuned. From the outside, druids may seem oblique, cagey, even sinister: the image of the duplicitous witch. This reputation is largely undeserved. Druids seek first and foremost to cultivate and protect the land, not to menace outsiders.
Since the recipients of druidism are completely random it stands to reason that some druids may, to varying degrees, reject their druidism. Domestic druids, also known as city druids, are the druids who choose to stay in their place of birth instead of communing with a circle. Even without honing their gift, these druids quickly find their magic helps in day-to-day life, especially in agrarian societies. Fertilizing crops, curing illness, and removing rot from food are some of the ways domestic druids rise to the station of a local celebrity.
Against all odds, druids occasionally manage to find each other. The experience is often jubilant and fruitful. Groves are stretches of wild land tended by an alliance of druids usually but not always of the same circle. They act as a place of power and that of worship, especially for the Children of Rodzik, and as sanctuaries for the wayward druids who manage to find them. Groves are only founded in places of absolute stillness, where the heartbeat of Arthos can be accessed by those who listen. While druids are responsible for cultivating groves, they generally don't stick around for long stretches of time, instead leaving the land in the hands of rangers, clerics, and paladins devoted to gods of nature. Entry into druid groves is otherwise highly restricted for a number of historical reasons.
Wanderlust is a powerful emotion amongst druids. They are people of Arthos after all, and there comes a time when one must expand their horizons. Druids usually don't join adventuring parties for material gain but for highly personal reasons. Perhaps they feel a rift in the tapestry of their life-experiences, or they want to build bonds with people outside of their grove. Regardless, druids will find the life of an adventurer to be perilous, invigorating, and enriching.